£11million dementia centre planned for Sunderland

A sketch of the proposed unit at Monkwearmouth Hospital, Newcastle Road, Sunderland.
A sketch of the proposed unit at Monkwearmouth Hospital, Newcastle Road, Sunderland.
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PLANS have been unveiled for a new £11million dementia unit in Sunderland.

The scheme would see the creation of a specialist Dementia Care Centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is behind the proposals, which go on show in the city today.

Project director Tony Railton said: “The proposal would make use of two existing buildings where we would have 54 beds, and we are looking to demolish old buildings to build the new 24 bed unit.

“The service is for people with varying forms of dementia, they are often being looked after by family members.

“The unit will hopefully mean that for some people who are very in need they can use this in-patient service, it will not provide long-term care.”

“The unit will allow people with dementia to be closely monitored so they can address and problems with challenging behaviour.

Mr Railton added: “The other benefit is that people can become quite unwell and challenging in their behaviour, and so it will give the people who look after them a rest and a chance to get their own strength back up.”

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is hosting an informal information drop-in event today to answer questions from the community on the building plans for Monkwearmouth Hospital.

It will be held in the boardroom at Monkwearmouth Hospital, in Newcastle Road, between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.

Mr Railton hopes that official planning applications for the new unit will be submitted to Sunderland Council by the end of the month.

The planned developments are part of the NHS trust’s Pride project, for the provision of improved mental health and learning disability services.

As well as at Monkwearmouth Hospital, the Pride project will provide new mental health in-patient services at Ryhope.

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